Which image editor software do you recommend?

Most people don’t have the budget for PhotoShop or the time to learn an open source image editor like GIMP.

Fortunately there are some free and easy to use browser based tools.

But first of all, why should I use an image editor?

One situation might be where you want to crop an image to focus on a particular part of the photo, like if you have a family photo but you want to just cut our your own face for a profile pic.

Another might be where you take a photograph with your smartphone but you want to shrink the massive image size down to something more realistic for your website.

Huge photo sizes are a problem for websites, especially if the person accessing your site is on a slow internet connection. It takes time for the browser to access all the scripts and files that make up your web pages, and so unnecessarily large images can cause problems.

When we say “large images” we are talking about BOTH in terms of the digital image “size” and the dimensions.

You should try to reduce the digital size as much as possible, even if it means a slight decrease in image quality. Any image size heavier than say 500KB is worth compressing to get it under that threshold.

A particularly good tool for compressing images before uploading to your media gallery is Compress-or-Die.

I routinely get savings of 80%-90% of the image weight when using this web tool.

Another tool which I regularly use for quick image resizing is LunaPic.

You almost never want an image more than 2000 pixels wide (2000 px) and in most cases you won’t need it more than 1000 pixels wide. So use the LunaPic tool to “Scale” and then download your photo.

A couple of final tools that you may or may not want to use at some point are Remove BG or alternatively Experte Background Remover. These are handy for those times where you only need the foreground image from a photograph e.g. just yourself and not everything behind you.

This free tool (they have an upgrade plan) does a more than decent job at removing all background elements from a photo, which can be handy when you want to isolate the foreground image and have a background transparency (need to save as a PNG file format).

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